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Romney's Courage and Conviction in His NAACP Speech Missed by Most of the Media
By Keith A Fournier
July 15th, 2012
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
WASHINGTON, DC (Catholic Online) - I write this article without any title. I write as a private citizen deeply concerned about a presidential campaign which I have concluded is the most important in my lifetime. I write for an integrated media network named Catholic Online which, seeing the ominous clouds of hostility toward people of faith gathering years ago, prudently structured itself as a for profit company so that it would not be restricted in speaking out in the political arena. However, what I am writing is my personal position. It will also not be my last article of this type. The stakes in the upcoming US Presidential election are just too great.
Those who have read my articles over the last year know I was a strong supporter of the former Senator from Pennsylvania, Rick Santorum, during the primary campaign for the Republican nomination. I still follow the Senator's work and am glad that this gifted public servant is still assisting the Nation he loves through Patriot Voices. Patriot Voices is a grassroots and online community of Americans from across the country committed to promoting faith, family, freedom and opportunity in accordance with the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.
Rick Santorum is my friend. I know his gifted wife Karen. I have been deeply inspired by their family. I know he would become an outstanding President at this time in his life. He has matured well with time, allowing it to become the tutor it is meant to be. I am glad the Senator is still young and I sincerely hope he appears again on the National Political scene. When he does, no matter how old I am, I will do all I can to assist him. Our Nation needs men of courage and conviction like him in public office.
The Republican Party now has a nominee, the former Governor of my home State as a boy, Massachusetts. I must vote to discharge my duty as a faithful Catholic citizen. I will not waste my vote. I cannot vote for the current President. I will do everything I can to see he is not reelected. His leadership in the White House has demonstrated he is no friend of life, marriage and the Family and the society founded upon it, Religious Liberty and many other foundational causes to which I have dedicated my life. In fact, I worry for the future of our Nation, and the freedom of my Church, if he is reelected. So, I have been following Mitt Romney very closely since his nomination became a foregone conclusion.
In May, I wrote about Mitt Romney's commencement address at Liberty University in an article entitled Mitt Romney: Mormon Candidate at Baptist Liberty University Moves Catholic Editor I noted my pleasure at the quality of his speech. I wrote the "fact that a Mormon, a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, would be the commencement speaker at the Baptist University founded by Dr Jerry Falwell speaks to the urgency of the hour. Add to this the fact that this Catholic Editor in Chief of Catholic Online would consider the speech important enough to make it the lead article, and the point is made even clearer."
Then in June, I wrote again about Governor Romney's superb address to the Latino Coalition which gathered at the end of May in Washington, DC. The article was entitled "Romney is Right, Time to Parentize Not Privatize Education through School Choice" The speech was based upon a larger policy statement contained in a white paper which explains the reforms Romney will implement if elected entitled "A Chance for Every Child" which can be read in its entirety here. It is an excellent proposal for a major overhaul in our Nations educational policy. It should be read by anyone concerned about authentic educational reform.
It is July and I am back again; this time to commend the courage of Mitt Romney. I write about Mitt Romney's address to the NAACP on Wednesday, July 11, 2012. If you have read many media reports you were fed propaganda posing as journalism. Before the speech could even be digested, the usual sources were panning, mocking, and berating the candidate. They accurately noted that his comments opposing the Affordable Care Act met with boos. However, they did not mention the applause he received at other points of the address, or at the end. Though I normally only post short portions of video clips before my articles, I am posting the entire address for my readers. Listen to it; it will be worth your while.
Mitt Romney showed courage, poise, and grace in both accepting the invitation to speak before this historically important association and in not backing away from his convictions or watering down his policy positions during the speech. After introductory remarks, he said: "With 90 percent of African-Americans voting for Democrats, some of you may wonder why a Republican would bother to campaign in the African American community, and to address the NAACP. Of course, one reason is that I hope to represent all Americans, of every race, creed or sexual orientation, from the poorest to the richest and everyone in between."
"But there is another reason: I believe that if you understood who I truly am in my heart, and if it were possible to fully communicate what I believe is in the real, enduring best interest of African American families, you would vote for me for president. I want you to know that if I did not believe that my policies and my leadership would help families of color - and families of any color - more than the policies and leadership of President Obama, I would not be running for president."
"The opposition charges that I and people in my party are running for office to help the rich. Nonsense. The rich will do just fine whether I am elected or not. The President wants to make this a campaign about blaming the rich. I want to make this a campaign about helping the middle class."
Romney affirmed the importance of genuine marriage and the family, contended that significant and structural educational reform can best be accomplished by giving parents a choice, called for expanding participation in a truly free market and gave a clear, intelligent, well delivered and sincere policy speech to this convention. I was disappointed by the slanted coverage this solid speech received from many in the media. I wondered as I listened to the speech and then read the transcript, if many reporting on it had actually done the same. They seemed to be simply following propaganda talking points.
To disagree with Mitt Romney's policy positions is fair game. However, to report that he had no core values or to insinuate he showed insensitivity to the realities faced by the African American community - based upon this speech - constitutes journalistic malpractice. Worse yet, it reveals the descent by some in the media into the abyss of becoming propagandists. One of the accurate reports I read was written for the Daily Caller by Fred Eckert and entitled "Mitt Romney walks on water at NAACP, media proclaims him a lousy swimmer". Eckert is a former Congressman and US Ambassador. Here is an excerpt:
"One line that received applause any objective reporting would label enthusiastic rather than subdued: "As president, I will promote strong families - and I will defend traditional marriage." Why didn't the headlines - or some sub-heads - read, "NAACP Delegates Cheer as Romney Contrasts with Obama on Gay Marriage"? Why didn't the reports cover both the cheers and the jeers? Take a wild guess. Today's media is not only biased, but incompetent. Often, what the media describes is not even close to reality. A few people in an audience made up largely of Barack Obama supporters booed the man running against Obama a few times. So? That should be tangential rather than nearly the whole story."
"You wouldn't know it from the media reports, but what happened Wednesday is that the Republican presidential candidate gave a great speech covering a wide range of important issues before an audience overwhelmingly stacked against him and came across as a strong leader who is extraordinarily intelligent, knowledgeable, reasonable, sensible, serious, polite, respectful, gracious - and tenacious. You also wouldn't know it from the media reports, but the overwhelming majority of the audience was polite and respectful."
Mitt Romney's speech to the NAACP Convention was another good speech given by a candidate whom, though I do not know him personally, is beginning to give me hope for the November elections. His demeanor and response, even when the crowd disagreed with him, spoke of character, decency and courage under fire, much needed attributes in a leader. Finally, Romney managed to once again inspire me as he ended with these words:
"Every good cause on this earth relies in the end on a plan bigger than ours" said Governor Romney. He continued. "Without dependence on God," as Dr. King said, "our efforts turn to ashes and our sunrises into darkest night. Unless his spirit pervades our lives, we find only what G. K. Chesterton called 'cures that don't cure, blessings that don't bless, and solutions that don't solve.'"
"Of all that you bring to the work of today's civil rights cause, no advantage counts for more than this abiding confidence in the name above every name. Against cruelty, arrogance, and all the foolishness of man, this spirit has carried the NAACP to many victories. More still are up ahead, and with each one we will be a better nation. Thank you, and God bless you all."
Mitt Romney's courage, conviction and coolness under fire in His NAACP address was missed by most of the media.
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